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Dana-Farber researchers report clinical trial results in treatment of leukemia and lymphoma

New results from clinical trials of immunotherapy and experimental targeted agents for patients with leukemia and lymphoma are being presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting Dec. 1-4.  Here are summaries of three presentations, including one that compared outcomes of CAR T-cell therapy in patients in clinical trials with outcomes in the “real world” of clinical practice: CAR T-cell treatment provides durable
cancer Cancer Discovery Cancer screening

Combination chemotherapy and immunotherapy effective in Phase II leukemia study

A combination of the standard-of-care chemotherapy drug known as azacitidine, with nivolumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, demonstrated an encouraging response rate and overall survival in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) according to findings from a Phase II study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Results from the trial, led by Naval Daver, M.D., associate professor of Leukemia, were published in the Nov. 8 online issue of Cancer Discovery. The study followed 70 patients
cancer Immunotherapies

First In-Human Clinical Trial Targeting CD4 Protein for Aggressive T-cell Leukemia and Lymphoma to be Launched

Stony Brook University, iCell Gene Therapeutics, and the University of Louisville, have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for an Investigational New Drug (IND) for the treatment of relapsed and refractory T-cell leukemia and lymphoma. The approach is the first to use chimeric antigen receptor engineered T-cells directed against the target protein CD4 (CD4CAR). Together, Stony Brook University, the University of Louisville, and iCell Gene Therapeutics expect the first
cancer

New Study Shows Repurposing Leukemia Drugs May Prevent Melanoma Metastasis

Data from a new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that repurposing drugs used to treat leukemia has promise for preventing melanoma metastasis. Published in Science Signaling, the study showed new evidence linking the activation of ABL kinases – cancer-promoting genes – to the secretion of pro-metastatic cathepsins in melanoma. Cathepsins are enzymes that degrade proteins and are highly expressed in cancer cells, resulting in their release
cancer Cancer Discovery

Researchers Detect a Loophole in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment

A team of researchers in Italy and Austria has determined that a drug approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may be less effective in a particular subset of patients. The study, which will be published January 4 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, reveals that ibrutinib has a diminished capacity to delocalize and kill tumor cells expressing an adhesive protein called CD49d, but combining ibrutinib treatment with drugs that block
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CRI Scientists Discover Vitamin C Regulates Stem Cell Function and Suppresses Leukemia Development

Not much is known about stem cell metabolism, but a new study from the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has found that stem cells take up unusually high levels of vitamin C, which then regulates their function and suppresses the development of leukemia. “We have known for a while that people with lower levels of ascorbate (vitamin C) are at increased cancer risk, but we haven’t fully
cancer Immunotherapies

Nanoparticles Reprogram Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have developed biodegradable nanoparticles that can be used to genetically program immune cells to recognize and destroy cancer cells — while the immune cells are still inside the body. In a proof-of-principle study to be published April 17 in Nature Nanotechnology, the team showed that nanoparticle-programmed immune cells, known as T cells, can rapidly clear or slow the progression of leukemia in a
cancer rare diseases

Scientists Find Possible Achilles Heel of Treatment Resistant Cancers

Scientists identify two signaling proteins in cancer cells that make them resistant to chemotherapy, and show that blocking the proteins along with chemotherapy eliminate human leukemia in mouse models. Reporting results March 20 in Nature Medicine, researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center suggest that blocking the signaling proteins c-Fos and Dusp1 as part of combination therapy might cure several types of kinase-driven, treatment-resistant leukemia and solid tumor cancers. These
Clinical Trials

Monoclonal Antibody Drug Superior to Chemotherapy for Advanced Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

More than 100 centers participate in Phase III randomized trial revealing longer overall survival A Phase III clinical trial involving 101 centers in 21 countries revealed the monoclonal antibody blinatumomab to be more effective than standard chemotherapy for treatment of advanced acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Study findings were published in the March 1 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, led by The University of Texas
Biotechnology

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Association Between Therapy for Autoimmune Disease and Bone Marrow Disorders

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that azathioprine, a drug commonly used to treat autoimmune disease, may increase the risk of myeloid neoplasms. Myeloid neoplasms include a spectrum of potentially life-threatening bone marrow disorders, such as myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia. The results are published in JAMA Oncology. Researchers analyzed more than 40,000 patient cases with 27 common autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, among others, that were seen
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New Trial Hopes to Increase Survival for Kids With Cancer, Reduce Risk of Long Term Cardiac Damage

Imagine conquering childhood cancer, only to find out that years down the road your heart may fail. Unfortunately, many children who have battled cancer face this reality. While often lifesaving, the effects of chemotherapy treatment (drugs that kill cancer cells) can take a toll on the developing body of a child, potentially resulting in life-threatening late side effects like cardiac damage. “You go through terrible chemotherapy, achieve remission, have a
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Stem Cell-Based Test Predicts Leukemia Patients’ Response to Therapy to Help Tailor Treatment

Newswise — (TORONTO, Canada – Dec. 7, 2016) – Leukemia researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have developed a 17-gene signature derived from leukemia stem cells that can predict at diagnosis if patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) will respond to standard treatment. The findings, published online today in Nature, could potentially transform patient care in AML by giving clinicians a risk scoring tool that within a day or two
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Leukemia Drug Combo Is Encouraging in Early Phase I Clinical Trial

In a small study, 67 percent of leukemia patients treated with combination of thioguanine and decitabine responded to treatment Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian reported that 8 out of 12 patients with relapsed and/or chemotherapy refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or other blood cancers responded to a regimen including the chemotherapy drugs thioguanine and decitabine. Results from this small phase I study were reported at the American
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Experimental CAR-T Treatment Halted as Two More Patients Die During Clinical Trials

Juno Therapeutics said Wednesday it has suspended a Phase II clinical trial of a cancer drug after two patients suffered cerebral edema earlier this week, leaving one dead and the other not expected to recover. The company’s ‘Rocket’ trial for B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is testing a drug it calls JCAR015. These drugs work by extracting T cells from patients and then equipping them with chimeric antigen receptors, which
cancer Cell Therapy

Long-Sought Genetic Model Of Common Infant Leukemia Described

After nearly two decades of unsuccessful attempts, researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have created the first mouse model for the most common form of infant leukemia. Their discovery, published in the Nov. 14, 2016, issue of Cancer Cell, could hasten development and testing of new drug therapies. Pro-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with the (4;11) translocation is responsible for about 70
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Antibody Breaks Leukemia’s Hold, Providing New Therapeutic Approach

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer known for drug resistance and relapse. In an effort to uncover new treatment strategies, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center discovered that a cell surface molecule known as CD98 promotes AML. The study, published October 27 by Cancer Cell, also shows that inhibiting CD98 with the therapeutic antibody IGN523 blocks AML growth in patient-derived
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Brain Cancer And Leukemia: New Molecular Mechanisms Decoded

Brain cancer and leukemia are two potentially fatal diseases that affect thousands of Canadians each year. But a joint study conducted by researchers Frederick Antoine Mallette, of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre and the University of Montreal, and Marc-Étienne Huot, of Laval University, and published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications has uncovered new molecular causes of brain cancer and leukemia. We already knew the existence of a mutation
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Blood Cancer Treatment May Age Immune Cells As Much As 30 Years

Certain cancer treatments are known to take a toll on patients, causing side effects like fatigue, nausea and hair loss. Now, scientists are investigating whether some treatments can cause another long-term side effect: premature aging of important disease-fighting cells. University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers, by tracking a molecular marker that has been shown to increase in white blood cells as people age, have uncovered clues that
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RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW STRATEGY TO LIMIT SIDE EFFECTS OF STEM CELL TRANSPLANTS

Scientists in Germany have developed a new approach that may prevent leukemia and lymphoma patients from developing graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after therapeutic bone marrow transplants. The researchers describe the successful application of their strategy in mice in “Exogenous TNFR2 activation protects from acute GvHD via host T reg cell expansion,” which will be published online August 15 ahead of issue in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. Bone marrow transplants can
cancer Cancer Discovery

Researchers inhibit tumor growth in new subtype of lung cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths, accounting for about a third of all tumor-related deaths. Adenocarcinomas, a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), account for about 40 percent of cancer diagnoses, but few treatments are available for the disease. A team of investigators led by Elena Levantini, PhD, a research associate in Hematology-Oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School